Power to the (Call Center) People: Next-Best-Action Nudges Agents With a Way to Resolve a Problem


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We all know that a call center experience can often make or break a customer’s decision to continue purchasing services from a company. Too often, it’s on the break side, with uninformed call center agents not knowing the right steps, doing the wrong thing and sometimes even lying. To provide the best possible customer experience, technologies must empower call center agents to have intelligent, informed, appropriate conversations.

The name of this game is Next-Best-Action recommendations. Technologies that enable NBA recommendations are actually able to “listen” to the conversation a call center or branch agent is having with a customer and dynamically re-apply models and rules to every new input, thanks to advances in predictive analytics and decisioning. The technology can then give the agent expert, real-time guidance about how to treat customers, answer questions, resolve issues, give advice and recommend products.

A real world example would involve a customer who calls in with a complaint. In a traditional call center environment, the agent would be prompted by his or her system to push a certain product or promotion that week to every customer. Hopefully, the agent, upon hearing that the customer has a complaint, would address that customer’s call reason directly. However, the system would give no guidance to help the agent ensure an optimum result for the call. Negotiations may need to take place that the agent is unprepared for. Unguided, these negotiations could end up as a negative for the company, or alienating the customer, depending on the predominant pressure felt by the agent.

Next-Best-Action recommendation technologies are able to consider the multidimensional aspects of both the customer and the company to prompt agents to make the best possible decisions in the face of any type of customer interaction.

Rob Walker
Rob Walker, Ph.D., vice president, Marketing (EMEA) and Decisioning Solutions, is responsible for managing the strategic direction and development of Chordiant Software's predictive decisioning technologies. He was previously with KiQ Ltd. and Capgemini. Walker holds a master's degree and a doctorate in computer science from Free University in the Netherlands.


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